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Seven Thoughts for Seven Games (Thoughts 3-4)

| October 23rd, 2016

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Thought 3. On the Run Defense

The Colts ran it for 98 yards. The Jaguars ran it for 54 yards. The Packers had one 30-yard run and otherwise quit on that element of the game altogether.  Even without their best run stuffer on the line (Eddie Goldman) out the Bears are building a run defense that is going to be formidable moving forward.

Why is this important? Because teams only have so many resources.

If the 2017 Bears are able to defend the run stoutly it will keeps downs and distances manageable on that side of the ball. And this will allow them to do in Chicago what Fangio did in San Francisco: save money at the cornerback spot. You saw how consistent and precise Aaron Rodgers had to be to move the ball against the Bears secondary and that secondary was LeBlanc, Bausby and Glenn. That’s what happens when an offense is faced with third-and-eight as opposed to third-and-two. Put three professional corners on the field and a few of those drives are ending far earlier.

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The Case for 10-6

| July 29th, 2016

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It is understood that camp has yet to begin and injuries can always pile up and derail a season before Labor Day. But at this point in the calendar, the Bears look an awful lot like a 10-6 team. Why? Five reasons.

Reason #1: Run Defense

The old baseball maxim is you need to be strong defensively up the middle. I’ve always argued the same goes for football. If you can clog the middle of the field, stop the run, cover the tight end in the seam, prevent the home run, you can defend any offense in the sport.

The 2016 Bears have the potential to be great up the middle. Hicks and Goldman are immovable objects. Freeman and Trevathan are top tier middle linebackers. Amos, while still developing, is an already terrific closer. This crop of players has the ability to make opposing offenses one-dimensional. And that will free up a pretty solid collection of pass rushers to wreck the game.

Stat Prediction: Bears will jump from 22nd in yards rushing allowed per game to top 10.

Reason #2: Fast Start

Bears open at Houston, playing a Texans team that better hope Brock Osweiler is worth the ridiculous amount of money they gave him. They are then home to Philly, playing a team in transition. They then travel to Dallas to play a Cowboys team they’ve beaten handily over the last few years. Then home to Calvin Johnson-less Detroit.

Stat Prediction: Bears open 4-0.

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